Women's Basketball Game Notes - Minnesota

Dec. 27, 2009

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Minnesota (8-4, 1-0) at Purdue (5-6, 0-1)

Tip: Monday, Dec. 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena
Television: Big Ten Network. Tom Werme will provide play-by-play and Stephanie White will provide analysis.
Internet Video: None.
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Jane Schott will provide analysis.
Rankings: both teams are unranked.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at purduesports.com.

The Opponent
The Boilermakers return to action after a seven-day holiday break to play their second conference game of the season and their first since a 60-58 loss at Northwestern on Dec. 6. Minnesota (8-4) has not played since a 91-51 victory at home over Santa Clara on Dec. 16. The Golden Gophers are led by sophomore guard Kiara Buford who is averaging 14.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Also averaging double-figures is senior post player Ashley Ellis-Milan who contributes 11.6 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game. Head coach Pam Borton is in her eighth year at Minnesota and has led the team to a 74-43 Big Ten record, including a 56-48 win over Penn State on Dec. 6.

The Series
This marks the 52nd meeting between Purdue and Minnesota, with the Boilermakers leading the series 35-16. Last season, Purdue won both matchups, the first was a 56-43 victory on Jan. 22, in Mackey Arena and the second was a 55-40 win on Feb. 12, in Minneapolis. Purdue is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings with Minnesota and 14-6 in the last 20 matchups. The last Golden Gopher victory in West Lafayette, was on Jan. 13, 2005, by a score of 58-38. The Boilermakers currently have a three-game win streak against Minnesota.

Next Up
Purdue's next contest is a New Year's Eve matchup at noon against rival Indiana, which will be carried live on the Big Ten Network. It is the only meeting in the regular season for the two teams and both the Barn Burner Trophy and a full point in the Crimson & Gold Cup will be on the line.

The Last Time Out
The Purdue women's basketball team was defeated 56-55 by Gardner-Webb despite a game-high 26 points from sophomore Brittany Rayburn on Dec. 21. Gardner-Webb (10-2) got a three-point basket from Monique Hudson with 14 seconds remaining to complete a comeback after trailing by as many as seven points in the final three minutes. Purdue held the Lady Bulldogs to their lowest output of the season and 14 points below their season average. Rayburn tied career highs with 26 points and 38 minutes played. The Attica, Ind., native also saw her streak of consecutive free throws made end at 38. She missed her second of two free throws with 14:13 remaining in the second half to end a streak, which betters All-American Katie Gearlds' run of 33 that stretch from the 2004-05 season to the George Washington game in 2005-06. Sophomore Samantha Woods led the Boilermakers with a career-high three blocks and joined classmate Chelsea Jones and freshman Sam Ostarello to pace the team with five rebounds. Ostarello also threw in seven points, and senior FahKara Malone added six. Sophomore Alex Guyton recorded one block and grabbed one steal while playing six minutes in her first game action this season after recovering from a stress fracture suffered during pre-season practice.

Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Former Boilermaker point guard, Sharon Versyp is in her fourth season as head coach at Purdue. She has an 80-38 record for a win percentage of 67.8 percent. The Mishawaka, Ind., native has a career mark of 197-103 and is three games away from the 200-win plateau in her 10th season as a collegiate head coach. At Purdue, Versyp has averaged 25 wins per season, the second-best three-year average in school history. Kristy Curry averaged 26 wins in her first three years. Versyp has led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten Tournament championships (2007 and 2008) and to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight twice (2007 and 2009).

Impressive Defensive Numbers
As of Dec. 21, Purdue is ranked No. 12 nationally in scoring defense, 16th in field goal defense and fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense. Purdue is second in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin in scoring defense, fourth in field goal defense and first in three-point field goal defense.

Injury Report
Sophomore Chantel Poston suffered an Achilles tendon injury on Oct. 1, that required surgery. She tore the tendon in her right foot during a conditioning drill and is expected to miss the season. Sophomore Alex Guyton, the most experienced post player for Purdue at just 5.9 minutes per game last year, missed the first 10 games of the season with a stress fracture in her lower left leg. She played six minutes against Gardner-Webb and is expected to play against the Golden Gophers.

Within Reach
Senior FahKara Malone is 33 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is fifth with 295 career steals, while former two-time All-American Katie Douglas owns the record with 327. In her first three years, Malone has averaged 87.7 steals a season. She recorded 104 thefts as a freshman, 89 as a sophomore and had 70 steals as a junior - despite missing nine games due to injury. The 5-foot-3 point guard is the Big Ten's career steals leader among active players and is ranked 40th nationally with a season average of 2.9 steals per game.

Sharing The Rock
Malone tied her career high for assists by dishing out 10 at Northwestern while contributing 11 points to record the first double-double of her career. Malone is sixth at Purdue on the career assist charts and is the Big Ten's active assists leader. Malone is third in the conference in assists (4.6) and second in steals (2.9).

Three Ball
Senior Jodi Howell scored a game-high 17 points at Northwestern and was perfect from the field, including 3 of 3 from three-point range. The Alexandria, Ind., native currently holds the Big Ten and school record for career three-point field goal percentage (minimum of 100 attempts) at 42.7 percent (150-351). She has hit at least one three-pointer in nine games this season and 71 for her career.

Rayburn Putting Up Big Numbers
Sophomore Brittany Rayburn, the 2009 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year as a freshman, was reinserted into the starting lineup at Oakland. She responded by scoring 26 points, tying her career high. The outing included a career-best 12 of 12 performance from the free throw line. Against Gardner-Webb, the Attica, Ind., native equaled her career best with 26 points. It was her fifth 20+ point performance of the season. She leads the team in scoring with a 16.4 ppg average, good for sixth in the Big Ten.




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